Saturday, February 14, 2009

Apollonian VS Dionysian

Kossie’s favourite philosopher is Friedrich Nietzsche, I was surprised he didn’t use the phrase “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” after he got sacked from Sydney FC.

You see it’s one of Kossie’s favourite phrases to use during the tough times he has faced during his coaching career. He also missed out on including the beginning of the full aphorism that Nietzsche coined which is: from the military school of life.-What does not kill me makes me stronger.

You can see why Kossie like saying “battle” so much.

The reason I bring up Nietzsche is because in Football you get a lot of talk about styles and the recent Socceroos performances and watching Argentina-France, Brazil-Italy and Spain -England away has got me thinking.

See when it comes to football I am a romantic. The romantics in their day worshiped: liberty, power, love, violence, imagination and irrationality. Basically anything that aroused an emotional response.
Like the romantics, I want my Football unbounded, wild and ever-changing, nature the sublime and powerful.

You see Nietzsche had this whole concept called: The will to power as art.

Nietzsche used the Ancient Greek gods Apollo is the god of the Sun, lightness, music, and poetry and Dionysus is the god of wine, ecstasy, and intoxication to explain his theory.

Stay with me here this is no philosophy lecture.

Take the Dionysian acts (emotional hedonistic, sensual, unrestrained, irrational) does it remind you of the way Brazil Argentina and Spain play football sometimes?

Take the Apollonian values (form creating, representational, orderly, self-control and rational) does it remind you of how Italy, England play and the style that Fabio Capello coaches?

My point is that these two relationships are juxtapositions, and they have a role in the way Football is played these days. Both the artistic impulses of these concepts form the dramatic arts and tragedies that take place on the Football field.

Robinho stepping over to beat 4 Italian defenders, Messi and Tevez destroying the French team and the Spanish team continuing on with their good form from Euro2008 is more Dionysian than Apollonian.

Australia playing with Tim Cahill up front and using Grella Valeri and Culina to shield the back four is more Apollonian than Dionysian.

I would say Pim Verbeek is from the Apollonian school of thought; the wish to create order clarity, stint to formed boundaries.

You see this Theory in movies and books played over again and again. The main protagonist struggles to make order in his/her life. He/she has adventures that show them how it’s done and they change for the better in the end.

The Greeks would kill the hero in a tragic way unfulfilled to the end while these days in movies Adam Sandler gets the girl adopts the kid, moves into the big house and everyone goes home all nice and fuzzy.

While the purpose for the tragedy of the Greeks was to allow us to sense an underlying essence, what Nietzsche called the "Primordial Unity", which revives our Dionysian nature which is almost indescribably pleasurable.

You see the Greeks showed the hero in vain trying to have order and control and this brought a tragic end.

Watching Spain Argentina and Brazil this week, has given me moments where the action on the field has been indescribably pleasurable and that for me is the best Football.
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